Challenging times: Dennis Pamplin and wife Patricia.
Challenging times: Dennis Pamplin and wife Patricia.
MP and deputy opposition leader Patricia Gordon-Pamplin was last night standing by her husband of 14 years - despite his arrest last week in New Jersey in an episode that is potentially damaging to her and her party.

But she has made it clear that love has its limits. Declining to talk about the state of her marriage to American Dennis Pamplin, she did confirm, when asked, that she still loved him. But she also said: "I can still make pragmatic decisions. I am not blinded by love."

She also expressed confidence that he would be cleared of charges of money laundering and conspiracy.

Police in Chatham, New Jersey told the Bermuda Sun late yesterday afternoon that Mr. Pamplin remained in jail because he had been unable to post bail of $75,000.

Mrs. Gordon-Pamplin, who returned to the island yesterday after spending a long weekend in the U.S., said her husband had hired a lawyer and she expected him to be released from jailyesterday following a bail hearing.

Even though police believe a drug deal that went wrong led to the arrest of Mr. Pamplin and two other men, Mrs. Gordon-Pamplin said the $98,000 police confiscated at the scene had nothing to do with a drug transaction.

"Dennis doesn't smoke, he doesn't drink, he doesn't do drugs," she told the Bermuda Sun.

Mrs. Gordon-Pamplin and her fellow UBP MPs have long called for all MPs to be drug tested - something the ruling PLP has rejected.

She told us that if her husband were involved with drugs, that was something she could not tolerate.

"I just don't tolerate that crap," she said.

Mr. Pamplin, 57, was arrested in Chatham, New Jersey with two other men last Tuesday on charges of money laundering and conspiracy, according to the Daily Record.

The arrests took place after two SUVs were involved in a road rage style incident.

When police arrived at the scene, two men went running into the woods while Mr. Pamplin remained with the two cars that had pulled along the side of the road.

Police eventually caught up with the two men, who were found to be in possession of two white envelopes containing cash. Both were arrested, along with Mr. Pamplin after more envelopes containing cash were found in the two cars.

The amount of cash confiscated totalled $98,000 and contained residue of narcotics. Mrs. Gordon-Pamplin said her husband's lawyer has said 90 per cent of all bills would contain residue of drugs.

She said his lawyer was willing to speak to the press, but he had not called by press time.

When asked about the state of her marriage, Mrs. Gordon-Pamplin, the shadow finance minister, who became deputy leader of the UBP in April, said: "I don't think it's anybody's business."

'A wonderful man'

She said they were still married and described Dennis as an "absolutely wonderful man" who was "thoughtful" and "generous."

But the two have had their challenges, she said, and he is away from Bermuda most of the time.

"My husband does not live in Bermuda," she said. "He visits periodically."

Mrs. Gordon-Pamplin had described him as "worthless" in an e-mail to her UBP colleagues following his arrest. She told us she is considering retracting it and explained it was a reflection of her frustration. "We've had some major challenges, which I shared with my parliamentary colleagues," she explained.

Mrs. Gordon-Pamplin is her husband's third wife. His previous wives were both Bermudian as well.

Following his divorce from his second wife, but before he was married to Mrs. Gordon-Pamplin, the Department of Immigration ordered him to leave the island.

When then Immigration Minister Irving Pearman refused to relent. even though he was about to be married to Mrs. Gordon-Pamplin, she entered the political arena and ran against Mr. Pearman in his own constituency as an independent - in a targeted bid to oust him as an MP.

She failed to win the seat and eventually, Mr. Pamplin won the right to stay in Bermuda as the spouse of a Bermudian.

Mrs. Gordon-Pamplin said she had no regrets about her stand as it involved a matter of principle.

She also said she and her husband have been a couple for 16 years. Although he is eligible for Bermuda status, he has never applied for it.

According to the Daily Record, Dennis Pamplin told police he lives in New Rochelle, New Jersey.

The county prosecutor's office said no date has been set for his court appearance.

Mrs. Gordon-Pamplin said she would not be attending his court hearing.

"I don't see what purpose it would serve," she said.

We placed a call to Mr. Pamplin's lawyer in the U.S. last night but did not receive a reply by press time.

Mrs. Gordon-Pamplin represents Paget West, a UBP stronghold that she won by roughly 400 votes in the 2003 general election.